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About Katarina Kertysova

I work as a Policy Fellow at the European Leadership Network (ELN) in London and I am also affiliated with the Wilson Centre as a Global Fellow. My work focuses on conventional arms control (primarily the Open Skies Treaty), Russia-West and Russia-NATO relations, Arctic geopolitics and the climate-security nexus. 

I am a member of several youth networks, through which I cooperate and exchange ideas with like-minded professionals. In addition to the NATO 2030 Young Leaders cohort, I am a member of the ELN's Younger Generation Leaders Network on Euro-Atlantic Security (YGLN), Aspen Young Leaders, the GLOBSEC Young Leaders, and the Warsaw Security Forum New Security Leaders networks. 

My previous research experience includes work conducted for the UNDP, the Carnegie Moscow Centre, the GLOBSEC Policy Institute, the Clingendael International Energy Programme (CIEP), and The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS).

I love to travel and meet new people. Having grown up in Eastern Slovakia, which knew little diversity, I have always had a passion for foreign languages and cultures. By now, I have visited 36 countries and I have studied and worked in the US, UK, France, Russia, Italy, Kosovo and the Netherlands. I speak Slovak, English, French and Russian, as well as basic Dutch and Italian.

My latest projects

My Latest Publications

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Decarbonized Defense: The Need for Clean Military Power in the Age of Climate Change

This IMCCS report, which I co-authored, reveals that there are high operational costs of continued fossil fuel use by militaries, and recommends that security leaders across NATO and the EU seize opportunities to ensure that low carbon considerations and energy efficiency standards are key factors in new procurement processes, research and innovation. I contributed with a chapter on NATO and a sub-chapter on EU-NATO climate cooperation

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When 5G Meets AI: Next Generation of Communication and Information Sharing

This study, funded by the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, seeks to unpack the complexities presented by AI and 5G operating together in the context of communications and information operations. How are NATO Allies impacted by the 5G/AI revolution? How will 5G transform the information environment, including the nature of disinformation campaigns? 

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NATO: An Unexpected Driver of Climate Action?

In our contribution to NATO Review, Sherri Goodman and I examined the ways in which NATO contributes to international climate efforts and what more the Alliance can do in the run-up to the Madrid Summit and beyond. 

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NATO 2030: Analysis of Selected Issues

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Closing the Open Skies


The Prospects for US-Russia Climate Engagement Under Moscow's Chairing of the Arctic Council

This report, compiled by the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (SFPA), provided Slovak Ministry of Defence with recommendations for NATO's next Strategic Concept. My chapter focused on NATO’s climate agenda and what Slovakia can and should do to address climate-related security challenges as a member of the Alliance.  

In my contribution to the The Wilson Quarterly (Summer 2021 edition), I looked at the future of the Open Skies Treaty following the U.S. withdrawal and a looming Russian exit. How did we get to this point? Can this unique instrument of mil-mil cooperation be preserved? What do the remaining state parties stand to lose if the treaty falls apart? 

In my latest article for Russia Matters Project of Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, I analyse Russia's Arctic Council chairmanship priorities, Moscow's approach to climate change, and the prospects for US-Russia climate engagement at the Arctic Council, G20 and COP26. 

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Open Skies in the Arctic: Challenges and Opportunities

In our book chapter, Dr. Alexander Graef (IFSH Hamburg) and I argue that cooperative aerial observation, which is at the heart of the Open Skies Treaty, has a useful role to play in mitigating military security risks and improving environmental monitoring in the Arctic.

NATO 2030 Young Leaders Report

NATO 2030 Young Leaders Report

As a member of the NATO 2030 Young Leaders group, I had the opportunity to contribute to the Secretary General's NATO 2030 reflection process. The recommendations in our report are structured around five key themes: defence and deterrence, NATO's values, NATO's partnerships and cooperation, climate change, and emerging & disruptive technologies.


Climate change in transatlantic relations

My contribution to the EUISS transatlantic book focused on the current state of play and prospects for greater transatlantic climate cooperation in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. 

My Latest Public Presentations


Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit Conference

Together with Mr. Matti Anttonen (Permanent State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland), Heather A. Conley (CSIS) and Dr. Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv (University of Tromsø), we discussed hard security issues in the Arctic, including Russian military presence and activities.


NATO ACT ICDE Conference

As part of the annual NATO ACT ICDE Conference, NATO 2030 Young Leaders hosted a workshop dedicated to NATO 2030 agenda. My intervention focused on NATO's role in addressing the security implications of climate change.


Security Cannot Be Taken For Granted

Together with Deputy Defence Minister Marián Majer, and members of the Slovak National Council Tomáš Valášek and Juraj Krúpa, we discussed NATO's next Strategic Concept and Slovakia's priorities in this regard. The event was organised by Hospodárske Noviny and GLOBSEC. 

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NATO Summit wrap-up: The road to 2030

In this episode of the European Policy Centre podcast, I joined Dr. Jamie Shea, Mihai Chihaia and Rebecca Castermans to discuss the outcome of the NATO Summit.

East West Coffee Shop: NATO Summit

Together with ELN Senior Associate Fellows Nicholas Williams and Simon Lunn, we talked about the NATO Summit and the need for a new/updated Strategic Concept. 

Atlantic Forum Spring Conference: 
Climate Change: Can NATO Take the Lead?

During the Atlantic Forum's Spring Conference, Michael Ruehle of NATO's Emerging Security Challenges Division and I discussed NATO's role in addressing the security implications of climate change.  

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Adapt to Defend: The Security Dimension of Climate Change

The Border Question in the Arctic

New Ideas for NATO 2030

This event, organised by the Clingendael Institute, the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI) and the British Embassy to the Netherlands, explored how the military can contribute to reducing security risks related to climate change.  

Together with Mathieu Boulègue from Chatham House, I had the pleasure to contribute to a new webinar series on border issues in Eurasia, launched by

IRSEM - Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l'Ecole Militaire. The webinar was dedicated to border and security challenges in the Arctic.

During this event, organised by NATO and Chatham House, the NATO 2030 Young Leaders presented their recommendations and handed over their report to the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The event also featured the culmination of a week-long policy hackathon. 

In the Media


"US, Russia Spar Over Military Build Up On Sidelines of Arctic Summit"


"NATO has involved a Slovak in the debate about its future"


"Západ sa s Rusmi stretáva na oblohe. Bude to pokračovať?"

I spoke with Voice of America about the Arctic Council Ministerial, Russia's climate strategy and the militarisation of the Arctic, which continues to undermine regional cooperation on areas of mutual interest. You can read the story and watch our conversation here.

Alice Billon-Galland (Chatham House) and and I spoke with Pravda Daily about the NATO 2030 reflection process and our Young Leaders Report, which provided input into the Secretary General's NATO 2030 initiative [in Slovak]. 

In my interview for the Pravda daily (in Slovak), I explain the value added of the Open Skies Treaty for its European member states - including Slovakia - and what they can do to save it [in Slovak]. 

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